Food Poisoning Awards: Egypt in the Spotlight


We all love going on holiday for the weather, for many travellers the thought of adventure coupled with good food is their idea of heaven on earth. But, what happens when you go to holiday heaven and it slowly comes crashing down turning into holiday hell? We'll be covering our holiday hotspots and what foods you should be wary of inside and outside of your resort to stay happy, healthy and enjoy your break. Our first holiday hotspot is, Egypt.

Egypt Salmonella Award

Egypt gives its travellers a taste of the ancient world, but more often than not that taste can turn sour and leave a queasy feeling in your stomach.

Be Careful When Eating the Food

Egypt is home to many wonders, the pyramids and the sphinx may be why you booked, but the vibrant atmosphere may keep you going back for more. But what about the food? Travel websites such as TripAdvisor often have many travellers complaining of food poisoning, diarrhoea, and other adverse effects to the local food in Egypt.

There are some things for you to watch out for while you're there, which will help to keep you safe to enjoy your break.

Middle Eastern countries are famous for their falafel – fried balls of ground chickpeas, fava beans or both. These filling little treats are a staple street food, but if they are fried in re-used oil they may pose a problem. Oil that is not properly strained and cooled before reuse, or heated up to a temperature that is not sufficient, can cause serious problems. Bacteria can breed on the leftover fried scraps of food leading to a growth of bacteria which can even cause botulism. Botulism is a rare but fatal form of food poisoning. Fried foods can be purchased from street vendors or they'll be a part of your buffet meal if you book all- inclusive. If you get sick from food you have bought outside of your resort then chances are if you make a compensation claim you may not be successful. However, if you've eaten exclusively in your resort then your chances are much higher for success.

Grilled meats are also another popular choice of food in Egypt. Locals and tourists alike will be familiar with these as they look a lot like your local kebab from the takeaway. Undercooked meats can be riddled with bacteria such as E.Coli and Salmonella which can both ruin a holiday. Making sure your meat is cooked all the way through and not pink in the middle is one way to avoid undercooked meats. We often see reports from all-inclusive holiday goers that the meat that was served to them at the buffet was undercooked. Chicken that is pink in the middle should never be eaten.

Vulnerable People be Aware

Cheese made from cow's and goat's milk has a long and rich history in Egypt. Unlike at home, it's not always clear whether the milk the cheese was made from was pasteurised. Pasteurisation removes bacteria from the milk by heating it to a certain temperature. Those with weak immune systems, older adults, pregnant woman and children should steer clear of unpasteurised milk and cheese. It could be safe to assume that any dairy products you are served in your hotel resort will be pastuerised. However, if they are local or speciality cheeses, this may not be the case.

Staying hydrated in a country where top temperatures can reach 34 degrees Celsius is important. Tap water in Egypt is not suitable for drinking, and so you should avoid drinking it and eating things that have been washed in it like fruits and vegetables. You should avoid ice cubes, as they will likely be made from tap water. Bottled water should be readily available wherever you go and although it may seem like another expense, it will be a lot safer for you in the long run. Often you may be brought a jug of water to go with your meal. Ask the waiter serving you if it is tap water and suggest that you've brought a bottle to share instead. This goes for when you're in the resort and eating in outside restuarants.

These may seem tough restrictions to put on your holiday, but a sensible approach can prevent a holiday ruined by illness. For their undercooked meat and track record for contaminated guests, we're giving Egypt, and in particular Sharm El Sheikh, the Salmonella award. Whether you're inside or outside of your resort food hygiene can vary so it's better to be safe than sorry.

Examples of Food Poisoning Compensation Awards:

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